ARTISAN cheesemakers from North Yorkshire have taken home two Super Gold medals in one of the world’s most prestigious fine food competitions held in Spain.

Shepherds Purse, who are based near Thirsk, won the top awards for their Harrogate Blue and Buffalo Blue cheeses – one of only two cheese producers in the world to have two cheeses in the top ranks.

The World Cheese Awards 2021, organised by The Guild of Fine Food, witnessed more than 4,000 cheeses from across six continents judged by 250 experts in a single day. All entrants hope for the position of Super Gold, whereby judging teams nominate one exceptional cheese from each table.

The winning cheeses in Shepherds Purse’s entry included Mrs Bell’s Blue and Northern Blue that took home a Bronze medal.

This is not the first time the family-run artisan cheesemakers have succeeded in this annual competition, having previously won over eight medals ranging from Silver to Super Gold in the last six years.

The company was founded by Judy Bell in the late 1980s and has since seen Judy’s two daughters Caroline Bell and Katie Matten take over the tradition of cheesemaking since 2012.

Speaking on the latest additions to their many accolades, director, Caroline said: “It is incredible that we’ve received two super golds for Harrogate Blue and Buffalo Blue, even one of these is very special so to get two is just incredible.

“These are huge results on a global stage where we were up against many other outstanding cheesemakers, so it’s an honour to be recognised for the care we put into crafting each individual cheese to achieve our award-winning flavours every time.”

Director, Katie added: “It’s a privilege to once again see a variety of our cheeses rank so high in the biggest cheese-only competition in the world. Cheese making is incredibly rewarding and incredibly difficult, especially when you are focussed, as we are, on delivering world-class cheese every batch, so to have our team’s hard work recognised and enjoyed on the world stage is a huge boost.”

The new medals now take Shepherds Purse’s tally of awards to over 320 since they were founded in 1989.